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Project Cure Colorectal Cancer RFP

Colorectal Cancer Alliance
External Deadline:
Opportunity Information:

According to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance (Alliance), colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths overall, yet it is less known and less funded than other less deadly cancers. The Alliance launched Project Cure CRC in late 2023 as part of its mission to end colorectal cancer in our lifetime.

Through the Project Cure CRC request for proposals, the Alliance aims to fund preclinical and clinical translational research with the potential for high impact on diagnosis, treatment, or survivorship of colorectal cancer. Project Cure CRC will prioritize proposals that embrace moving colorectal cancer research to a curative science ASAP. Proposals for submission should focus on projects that are high-risk/high-reward and accelerate new therapies and technologies from bench to bedside. Projects that utilize collaborations and/or public-private partnerships are strongly encouraged.

Based on the Alliance’s Research Strategy and priorities identified at the Cure CRC Summit, proposals are welcomed in the following areas: new strategies and technologies in immunotherapy and cellular therapy beyond MSI-H; utilizing ctDNA and other liquid biopsies to improve CRC patient outcomes and early detection; making clinical trials more effective for patients using emerging technologies; developing therapies, including vaccines, for prevention of CRC recurrence that are effective for minimal residual disease and adjuvant therapies irrespective of tumor mutational status; leveraging AI using existing large datasets and developing new datasets (molecular and clinical data) to advance precision medicine encompassing diagnostics, development of new treatments, treatment decisions, and longitudinal disease monitoring; targeting cell signaling pathways towards a cure and leveraging new target and treatment strategies in local and metastatic CRC; developing novel theranostic molecules and its synergy with immunotherapy for localization and treatment of mCRC; expanding the application of local therapies and systemic therapies in oligometastatic disease; and developing infrastructure to support a comprehensive patient data repository to support precision treatment, trial matching, and future research.

The Alliance seeks proposals that accelerate existing preclinical and clinical research that increases therapeutic options, improves adjuvant therapies, deliver novel therapies focused on driver mutations (BRAF, TP53, KRAS, BRCA1, as examples), and investigate strategies to influence the tumor microenvironment (TME) to expand the use of immunotherapy.

Grants will be awarded in the following categories:

Early-Career Investigator Award (academic only): Aims to attract early-career faculty with original ideas into the field of colorectal cancer research, thereby recruiting and supporting the next generation of CRC research leaders. Awardees will be provided funding to accomplish innovative and original, preclinical, translational, and/or early clinical research projects. Grants of up to $100,000 per year for two years will be awarded.

Senior Investigator Award (academic only): Will fund potentially transformative ideas that will accelerate the translation of new therapies and technologies. Proposals may include investigator-initiated clinical trials and do not require IRB approval at the proposal stage. Collaborations are highly encouraged. Grants of up to $1 million per year for two years will be awarded.

Pilot Award (academic or industry): Will support investigators who propose potentially transformative ideas that do not have extensive preliminary data but articulate a clear hypothesis and translational goals. Resources for such “high-risk, high-reward” projects are important to establish proof-of-concept, which may then leverage additional funding through more traditional avenues. Grants of up to $100,000 per year for two years will be awarded.

Team Science Award (academic and/or industry): will support team science, including public-private partnerships, that will drive CRC research to curative science. Research proposals that accelerate new innovations from bench to bedside and address current unmet clinical needs will be prioritized. Grants of up to $2 million per year for three years will be awarded.

Opportunistic Award (small startup companies): Seed grants to fund novel research from small startup companies that will drive CRC research towards a curative science. Grants of up to $500,000 for one year will be awarded. 

Strategic Award (small biotechnology or small pharmaceutical companies): Supports Phase II and III clinical trials initiated by small biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies that will accelerate new therapies, addressing current unmet clinical needs. Grants of up to $5 million for one year will be awarded. 

Eligible applicants include nonprofit, for-profit, and academic organizations, and from investigators who hold MD, PhD, or other professional degrees.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Applicants should expect to receive a response regarding proposals within one month of submission.

For complete program guidelines and application instructions, see the Colorectal Cancer Alliance website.

ASU Information:

Submissions to this sponsor/donor are managed by the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations. Please contact your unit-assigned ASUF Director of Development or Research Advancement Specialist at your earliest convenience to ensure ASU's strategic coordination and management of funding applications.

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